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Kyoto Travel Guide

  • Photo: Perati Komson / Shutterstock
  • Photo: Sergii Rudiuk / Shutterstock
  • Photo: Sergii Rudiuk / Shutterstock
  • Photo: Sergii Rudiuk / Shutterstock
  • Photo: Kenneth Dedeu / Shutterstock

Plan Your Kyoto Vacation

The astonishing number of temples, shrines, and palaces that adorn the city make Kyoto's architecture its most famous feature to visitors. Japan's capital for more than 1,000 years, Kyoto was the center not only for politics, but religion, philosophy, art, culture, and cuisine. Every one of Japan's refined cultural arts blossomed from seeds that were planted here, including the tea

ceremony, Kabuki theater, Zen, and Tantric Buddhism.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Architecture Despite modernization, about 27,000 traditional houses remain. The preservation districts include Sannen-zaka, Gion Shin-bashi, the sake brewing district in Fushimi, and the canal street leading to Kamigamo Jinja.
  2. Gardens Chinese-influenced gardens symbolize paradise on Earth. The karesansui (rock gardens) of Zen temples signify the quest for wholeness; the most famous of these is at Ryoan-ji.
  3. Crafts There's no shortage of art and antiques shops; secondhand kimonos are a bargain; and ceramics, lacquerware, and woven bamboo make great souvenirs.
  4. Living culture Professional dancers and performers, geisha are revered as an embodiment of culture, with their opulent kimonos, hair ornaments, and artistic skills.
  5. Festivals Experience one of Kyoto's festivals, many occurring between May and October.

When To Go

When to Go to Kyoto

Cherry-blossom time in spring (usually the first week of April) and the glorious autumn foliage in early November are remarkable, though the city ...

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